1. Begin working on your student’s transcript and course descriptions – If you haven’t already started working on a transcript, now is the time to do so. A good way to begin is to gather all your notes on your student’s past years and to have their senior year courses planned. Then start plugging the coursework into a transcript either by year or by subject. Along with the transcript you also need to write out course descriptions. Stuck on how to get started? There are numerous examples to be found online including our own post on how to write your course descriptions.
2. Finalize a school list with your student – Make sure their list is balanced and includes safety, match, and reach schools. This is a very important step. Remember that getting into college today is very different from when you were younger. A strong list of schools is one of the keys to having a successful application cycle.
3. Estimate the cost of colleges – You and your student should fill out net price calculators online for the schools on their list. This is a step you do not want to skip. Every year students are admitted to schools that they cannot afford because this step was overlooked. The flip side of this is that parents and students take schools off their list that they believe they won’t be able to afford. Never assume that without filling out the net price calculator. Often schools turn out to be cheaper than the initial listed price due to income or scholarships.
4. Visit colleges – Summer and early fall are great times to visit potential universities that your student is interested in. You don’t need to visit all the schools on their list but do try to tour a small and large school to get an idea of what feels better for your student. Incourage your student to set up meetings with faculty in their field of interest and remember you can meet with an admission or financial aid officer if you have questions prior to applying.
5. Write your counselor recommendation letter – One thing that we always tell homeschooling parents is to never underestimate the power of the counselor letter. This letter can set the framework for the whole application and is an important part of your student’s package. Give yourself time to write this letter and plan for rewrites. Need help getting started? Check out our post here.
6. Support your student – This is a stressful time for your student. They are juggling being a teenager and enjoying summer with everything they have to do to get ready to apply to schools. They may need your support and a check-in from time to time. Remember they have essays to write, letters of recommendation to gather, exams to prep for, and it can be hard to balance it all.
Looking for extra support during this time? Simplify would love to help! Contact us here and we will get back to you as soon as possible.